Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW
BARGAIN OF THE MONTH


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

 

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
Symphony No. 2 (1919-21) [42:51]
Pour une fête de printemps (1921) [11:41]
Suite in F (1926) [14:11]
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Stéphane Denève
rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK 30 May-1 June 2007 (Symphony, Pour une fête de printemps) and 2-4 May 2006 (Suite) DDD.
NAXOS 8.570529 [68:43]
Experience Classicsonline


This disc is the second installment in this enterprising label’s series of Roussel symphonies conducted by Stéphane Denève
, coupled with other of his works.  Welcome it is, too! 

Roussel is primarily known for his Third and Fourth symphonies and his ballets Bacchus et Ariane and Le Festin de l’araignée (The Spider’s Feast).  While Roussel’s First Symphony is impressionistic in nature and his last two works in the genre are much more neo-classical, the Symphony No. 2 is really a transitional work.  It is more densely scored than his later works and more complex in form.  It does not reveal its secrets as easily as the later symphonies.  However, after a couple hearings, one recognizes this as a genuine work of the composer.  As Richard Whitehouse points out in his excellent notes in the CD booklet, the symphony has never caught on in the way that some of Roussel’s other compositions have.  It is certainly a darker piece than his other symphonies and leaves a powerful impression on the listener.   It is well orchestrated with important parts for the brass and winds.  The horn theme in the first movement (Lent) at 7:53 and 14:20 that recurs in the second movement (Modéré) on trumpet at 7:57 is particularly memorable.  All three movements end quietly and contain lyrical elements in the strings.  Although the finale (Très lent) begins slowly, it later introduces a rhythmic figure that is played by the woodwinds and strings.  Then the horns burst forth with it and finally the whole orchestra picks it up.  This serves a function similar to the horn and trumpet theme in the first two movements and lends unity to the piece, which otherwise might seem a bit discursive.  The symphony ends with a nice horn solo.  Denève and the orchestra play the symphony as to the manner born, for Denève’s work with the Scottish orchestra has been impressive and continues to be.  He already contributed a superb account of the well known Third Symphony and Bacchus et Ariane ballet (see review).  His main competition in the symphony at hand comes from the series by Christoph Eschenbach and the Orchestre de Paris.  I have not heard that recording, but it, too, has received excellent reviews.  Charles Dutoit’s recordings of all the symphonies are also highly regarded. 

The other works on the CD are more than mere fillers.  The first item the tone poem Pour une fête de printemps, written about the same time as the symphony, resembles the symphony in its sound, although it is not as dark as the larger work.  The Suite in F represents the jovial side of the more familiar Roussel in that it was composed during his later, neo-classical period.  It is in three movements (Prélude, Sarabande and Gigue) that recall earlier, Baroque forms.   Nonetheless, as Whitehouse states, “its abrasive harmonies, motoric rhythms and pungent humour evince a distinctly ‘contemporary’ feel.”  As in other later Roussel the orchestration here is more transparent and the construction tauter and more economical. 

All three works on the disc receive superb performances and the recorded sound is also very good.  If you don’t know these pieces, this is a most economical way to experience them. I can highly recommend this CD to anyone interested in Roussel or twentieth-century French orchestral music regardless of price. 

Leslie Wright


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.